It's next week, by the way. Christmas. Like eight days away or something.
Anyhow, thanks for hanging with me during this absence. I do not have a good reason for being away other than being the busiest person ever in the history of forever. Probably similar to you right now.
Oh, and I am trying to get used to sleeping with a ginormous Darth Vader helmet strapped to my face. The good news is that I am breathing through the night. The bad news is that I look like roadkill when I wake up because of all the crease marks on my face.
(You be the judge on what really is the pro and the con in that situation.)
So I want to talk to you today about perspective. I have been mulling this over lately. This usually happens around this time of year, probably because of the new year quickly approaching and my birthday which quickly follows. I tend to get a little introspective when I know that I am aging.
Last week, I studied about John the Baptist in Matthew 11. He was in prison and so he sent his groupies to find Jesus to ask Him directly if He really was the Messiah. Now, if you flip back a few chapters, you see that John was directly involved in Jesus' baptism, with God's voice and the dove and the blaring confirmation that Jesus was the long-awaited King.
However, during his time away from Jesus, while he was a political pawn in Herod's court, John had begun to doubt. Was Jesus really Jesus? Had I missed something or done something wrong? Was He doing what so many prophesied that He would?
I understand those doubts. The further away I get from Jesus, the louder they become. Am I being effective at all? Does Jesus really have a plan for my life? What the heck is He doing?
Instead of wallowing or talking to friends, John went directly to the source: Are you really who you say you are?
And Jesus said: yes.
You see, my perspective gets all out of whack sometimes. Take the mountains, for instance. When they are far away, they just look like one, long line of hills. But the closer you get, the more you see the peaks, the valleys and the layers. The layers of time and people and events.
Jesus doesn't work in one, long line. He works in and among and throughout.
That is what Jesus was doing while John was imprisoned. He came to this earth to accomplish our redemption but that wasn't all He was going to do. He was and is going to come back. What John thought was just one big event in time, Jesus has a second act to come.
So when I think He isn't working or doing what I thought He would do, He says, "Come closer. I am weaving and layering and connecting all that I see and do together. I am setting the stage. I am exactly who I say I Am, even if I don't look like what you thought I would."
Oh, sweet Savior. If I only didn't freak out every time my life takes a turn that is unexpected. If I only clung to the closeness of Jesus instead of trying to squeeze Him into my teeny, tiny timeline. And Christmas isn't just about one single event in history; rather it was His fleshly introduction to us. He has been working all along.
Perspective has become my word for this season. It is the thrill of hope as a weary world rejoices.
(I bet you didn't think I would bring on the heavy after a few weeks away. You're welcome.)